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Viewpoint: Illegal p2p file sharing?
Wednesday 26 August 2009 08:07:26 by Sebastien Lahtinen

What makes illegal file sharing on the Internet any different to stealing a DVD from a store, and is it the job of the bus company to refuse to accept you as a passenger on the route to town because you have been accused of shoplifting there?

The Government is reconsidering its position on how to tackle illegal file sharing, suggesting that the initial approach it adopted in the Digital Britain Report was unlikely to yield the results as quickly as it wanted. The topic of illegal file sharing is very controversial with the creative industries and service providers battling over who should be responsible for policing the actions of end users who are breaking the law.

Who should police the Internet?

The Internet is seen by many as the badlands of the world, unrestricted by national laws. It has helped to break through censorship and taboos in many countries, but equally presents the same technical problems for those who think censorship of some kind is desirable, and there are some strong arguments on both sides.

There is a danger that Broadband Service Providers are seen as the obvious choice to act as the policemen of the Internet (or even worse, judge, jury and executioner as well) because they have the technical ability to cut someone off. Would you expect your electricity company to cut the power to your home if you were playing music too loud?

It is about time that the government accepted that it is its responsibility to fund a police force that can cope with modern policing requirements including investigating criminal offences committed online, and it is the role of the creative industry to enforce their intellectual property rights in the civil courts. It may well be that we need to refresh the criminal laws of theft to better cope with digital goods and services, and that we need to reform the court system to make the process quicker and fairer on costs. The idea of some sort of quango or music company telling my ISP that I have been doing something illegal without a way for me to defend every accusation is very worrying. Could I sue a music company for libel if they wrongly reported me to my ISP on the basis that it damages my reputation and causes me financial loss as I have to defend my right to continue to browse the web?

What should happen if you break the law?

Two simple words: Due Process. If you go and steal something from a shop, you are charged and have an opportunity to go to court to defend yourself. Just because the process of 'stealing' music has become cheaper and more common, shouldn't mean that we should bypass that process for expediency or cost savings. The effect of restricting someone's broadband connection is to disconnect them from the modern digital society, more so as high bandwidth applications like video conferencing and user generated content takes off. What makes online theft so different to walking into a shop and stealing that CD?

Confusing the problem...

It seems that often Internet related problems are seen as 'technical problems' requiring technical solutions rather than underlying social problems. This is often why IT security fails as it doesn't take into consideration the human factor. The government seems rather focussed on illegal 'p2p' file sharing (the technical protocol) which it is trying to address, rather than tackling the underlying issues (consumer choice, perceptions and piracy at a high level). The Digital Britain Report even suggests that most people would prefer not to break the law if they had the choice, so surely this is about ensuring the creative industries embrace the Internet. Why are they not focussing tax breaks on those companies that are innovating in this area to give the industry a signal that they also need to adapt?

Technical solutions to curb illegal activity will have little long term impact unless it is accompanied by a change in attitudes of users to how they consume music and other media. CCTV cameras are often cited as not reducing crime, but simply displacing it and immobilisers make stealing a car without a key very difficult, so thieves have adapted to steal car keys during a burglary.

At present, rights holders track illegal activity by monitoring p2p networks and tracking the perpetrator's "IP addresses" which identify their service provider. The existence of distributed networks such as Tor mean that the idea of tracking users is bound to get more and more difficult if they need to hide their tracks.

The struggle of a changing business environment..

The Internet has been a force for globalisation, yet we still find that software vendors might charge £100 for a product in the UK and $100 for the same package in the U.S. even with electronic delivery. Even taking into consideration distribution costs, it seems they are trying to protect the old way of doing business in the same way most DVD players are 'region locked' and will only play DVDs for the region you buy them from.

Telecommunications companies used to make most of their revenue from 'per minute' call charges. When competition was introduced by way of mobile phone and cable operators, the shift has been towards 'per second' charges. Yet, any telecoms executive thinking ahead should know that in ten years' time, they won't be making their profit from these charges at all but from value added services or bundles. So whilst you can now buy a single track for £0.79 on Amazon rather than paying £7.90 for the full album, there has been no drastic change as yet in the wider industry towards a new business model. Last.fm tried it but it didn't quite work as it didn't give you the same flexibility to choose what you wanted to listen to; Spotify might be the start of a change, although I still can't listen to it in my car.

We are running a poll on the right hand side of this page so please take part.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Copyright laws need an update.
Pirates will always win.
Piracy is a smokescreen in the absence of princess annes dog biting anyone lately.
ISPs have enough to do trying to provide a service through obsolete copper without tracking pirates too. It will put prices up for no good reason. Media needs to modernise itself instead of hanging onto out of date tech and mindsets. for too long hangers on have made a fortune out of artists and consumers. no wonder they squeal to mandy...
Posted by xela over 7 years ago
Normally I only resort to the much frowned upon p2p networks when an item isn't for sale on iTunes or Amazon..
Posted by jrawle over 7 years ago
It is not "theft", which is a clearly defined crime in which you deprive the owner of the item you've taken. That's an inaccurate, emotive term the record industry likes to use. Using P2P is more akin to copying a CD to your iPod, which is just as "illegal", or lending a DVD to a friend. And people don't receive "fines" at present for filesharing. Copyright infringement is a civil matter and rights holders can sue or reach a settlement, not give out fines. The media need to stop repeating the industry's spin.
Posted by kawasakiMan over 7 years ago
Piracy is driven by high prices, and lack of availability. The music/film industry know what they have to do, but would rather persue the legal side of piracy than cut profit margins.
The government are trying to look active, but dont want to accept any cost.
The ISPs simply provide a service, and should not get involved. (Vodafone would not be fined if the next terrorist attack was planned using phones on their network).
I predict a lot more talk & hype, with a few more government reports. A few more hyped up court cases involving soft targets will follow, and then not much else.
Posted by jrawle over 7 years ago
If the law is really to be toughened up, it needs to be balanced with rights for the consumer. For example, the right, enshrined in law, to make copies of purchased music or films to other devices; to not be tied into a particular technology in an uncompetitive manner (so no DRM ever); not to be prevented from buying media released in a different region.

And then what about all the content that can never be purchased legally, for example foreign language TV that students of a language may use P2P to download?
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@jrawle - the laws of theft originate from when you bought physical goods and there is a legitimate argument to update them. It is a debate that needs to be had. I agree music companies need to change their business models too, but the idea of allowing illegal activity (being a civil or criminal wrong) to carry on is also not viable.
Posted by soloman over 7 years ago
Make "Limewire" software illegal - simples!
The world and his m8 seem to run this downloading 24/7. Nobody ever seems to buy music / films anymore. Just walk past any group of mums picking up the kids from school to get all the latest movies...
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@soloman - Outlawing a specific protocol, software package or service is just ineffective. You have to look at the underlying cause.. Would it be any better if we were exchanging music on USB sticks rather than the net? Of course not..
Posted by soloman over 7 years ago
@seb - Yeah, I see your point, but from the PC's I've seen (I repair them) Limewire seems to be the weapon of choice. Without it 90% of kids wouldn't have a clue how to hook up with a P2P network, the software makes it far too easy to do so. Making Limewire unobtainable wouldn't solve the problem - it would certainly limit it.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@soloman - no it wouldn't work.. What would happen is another software package would become popular instead. Kids and grown ups alike will find ways around anything you put in their way.
Posted by soloman over 7 years ago
@seb - Yeah there's even a precident for that! Before Limewire it was BearShare! Not sure why the change occured, maybe the network BareShare used died? Limewire uses Grokster (who have already been sued for infringements) which returns us to the fact that it's a RIAA/MPAA problem not the ISP's
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
"What makes online theft so different to walking into a shop and stealing that CD?"

One is a civil offence, the other is a criminal offence. This is so basic that it makes the article a bad joke and it should be pulled immediately for re-writing.

More, under EU law you need a court order to disconnect broadband, it's a basic service.

(And you're asking people to admit to a civil offence? Nuts, absolutely nuts. You're getting to the point of this site being a joke)
Posted by ex-Pipex over 7 years ago
[q]If you go and steal something from a shop, you are charged and have an opportunity to go to court to defend yourself. Just because the process of 'stealing' music has become cheaper and more common, shouldn't mean that we should bypass that process for expediency or cost savings.[/q]Quite right! It's high time that copyright theft was made a criminal offence and dealt with accordingly.
Posted by jerkoff over 7 years ago
Each time a system becomes affordable another quickly takes it's place from Vinyl & cassette to CD from Video to DVD and so on music is quickly becoming out of reach for the common man ,I have a massive Record collection both Vinyl & CD I have now come to the stage where I can no longer afford something that I have spent my whole life collecting supporting playing and listening to ,would it not be better to add a licence fee to all who use ISP's then no one could miss out and getaway without paying .I fee all pay where would the problem be there ?
Mr Mo
Posted by lloydio over 7 years ago
Rubbish downloading music off the internet is the same as theft from a shop. Downloading music from the internet is like walking down the street and picking up a £10 note off the floor, legally its stealing. Authorities need to shut down the services which are easily accessible else this law is mickey mouse!
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
Media companies have yet to accept the reality that the days of media serfdom are effectively over. Until this happens then all measures, irrespective of how draconian they may be, will ultimately prove to be ineffective. The peasants have already revolted. In the absence of a credible service that fulfils consumer demand, people have learned to help themselves.

Though the free ride must end eventually, just as media companies found their free ride to be over. Perhaps when they stop grieving for their monumental loss, they may learn a little humility and listen to their customers.
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
Until the Music/Movie industries reduce pricing to much more affordable levels then Piracy will always happen. I mean reducing the price in ALL shops and distribution outlets (Online or on the high street). DVD distribution costs pennies yet how come the latest releases are getting more and more expensive. When DVD's first came out they were price £10, now years later with production costs down the DVD's are retailing at £17 to £20 for new releases.
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
What the Music/Movie industries must look at is that they must first control costs of making a movie and not resort to paying MILLIONS for a single actor to appear in the film, if they reduced the salaries of the actors to reasonable rates then the final costs will be cheaper for people to buy and piracy will only exist off the coast of Somalia.
Just like the BBC and paying Johnaton Ross £6m. That is about 42000 license payers are required to to cost his wage, now reduce it to say £100,000 and that is reasonable and the BBC now get lots of funds to do new TV
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
And the idiots come out to play.

Unaithorised copying a criminal offence? That's as ludicrous as the American ruling (Blizzard vs MDY) that breaking a EULA is copyright infringement.

Dismantling civil law to protect a failed business model would do irreprable harm to the balance between consumers and companies. Better music be made illegal than that.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"Posted by seb no it wouldn't work.. What would happen is another software package would become popular instead. Kids and grown ups alike will find ways around anything you put in their way."

Which is why you can't actually enforce anything. Whilst I agree its not really acceptable to turn a blind eye, what can you actually do about it? People will find a different way. ISP's won't whizz their money away on solutions to stop it happening so who will, the music/film industry? No doubt it will cost them more in their failed attempts to stop it than what they are supposedly losing now
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"Posted by lloydio about 3 hours ago
Rubbish downloading music off the internet is the same as theft from a shop." Is it? I don't think so. If you downloaded from a site on the internet that was selling an album for £16 and you somehow hacked your way in and took that album for nothing. THAT is the same as stealing from a shop. Theft from a shop and copyright theft are two different things
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@GMAN99 - The research shows that people want to get music legitimately for example and in Scandinavia, the biggest pirates were also biggest consumers who bought music.. It's about making record companies think beyond the concept of getting X pence per track on iTunes etc.. This is why I'm saying technical measures won't fix the problem.
Posted by meldrew over 7 years ago
Anyone concerned about employment prospects and house prices over the next couple of years...?!
Posted by carrot63 over 7 years ago
The article articulates very clearly two points that are not made often enough. The government's narrow vision of this as an essentially technical issue, (i.e. mend the fence and nobody can get in to 'steal'). It follows the now familiar pattern of assuming we are all crooks who need to be physically stopped, while totally ignoring the underlying causes, namely the industry's abject failure to rise to the challenge of consumer expectation in an entirely different business and distribution environment. The media inustry's insistence that it alone must set the rules is no more reasonable...
Posted by carrot63 over 7 years ago
(Cont'd)... than stable owners and horsebreeders insisting the government fine motor car owners would have been in the early 20th century.

The lack of due process is much more disturbing, but consistent with the governments liking for circumnavigating the courts by devolving the power to decide guilt and issue fines to unaccountable public and private bodies who inevitably use and abuse these for their own financial gain. The right to an unbiased hearing of your defence is pretty basic, yet it is continually being chipped away.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Seb - *Microsoft's* now-old Darknet document explains why it won't solve the problem. This is a well-researched issue.
Posted by mick79 over 7 years ago
I`ve read all the comments, and I believe that every one of them have made a valid & somewhat humerous comment.
I myself am guilty of p2p file sharing, and now i`m feeling guilty.
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 7 years ago
One can record from the radio or from the TV, so why not from the net? Having said that I have never downloaded from P2P sites. not that I am a goody two shoes, but simply I am totally disinterested in music.

I think that the music and entertainment industry should look at their markets and business strategies in a new age, not repeat all the same complaints that they made with the introduction of compact cassette and video tapes.
Posted by John_Allen over 7 years ago
It's amazing how keen MPs are to prosecute downloaders when the same MPs have been stealing and defrauding the public on their expenses for years. Anyone notice that not one of them has been prosecuted for this theft? I also notice they do nothing to stop the companies whose pockets they are in from charging more for goods sold in the UK than abroad.
Posted by g-bhxu over 7 years ago
Are we already paying?

TV Programmes - TV Licience pays for BBC programmes. SKY Subscription pays for programmes on channels available on SKY platform. Free To Air (ITV, CH4, Five etc) paid for by the products we buy that are advertized on these channels. Therefore, all you are doing is getting the programme before/after it has been shown.

Films - As TV programmes

Books - No Different to borrowing the same title from a library

Posted by g-bhxu over 7 years ago
Music - No different to listening a radio station that plays music. All you are doing is choosing the music you want to listen to. It can also lead to you discovering new artists and the buying of their music.

Can't justify the downloading of software unless you've already paid for it and either the disk is damaged or you've deleted a paid for download
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Radio stations pay for each play of a track, so for artists and the record companies there is a big difference to downloading for free.

On the recording from TV and radio, the fair use for VCR was gained via courts in the US, as for the UK not sure its written down, currently everyone with ripped material from a CD they own is breaking copyright law
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
There's an explicit right in the UK under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act to time shift.

While format shifting is technically illegal, it is non-prosecutable.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@Bryan-Tansley - Digital rights is a very important point; Certainly the right to choose what devices you play music on, to time shift, etc; I didn't mention it explicitly although I note DRM-less music is now available in some cases which addresses /some/ of the issues.
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 7 years ago
So perhaps that is the issue, we are not buying music films etc. but the media on which they are sold! Perhaps if P2P sites charged a subscription with a percentage going to the various interested parties? But this blanket attack on all file shares, is just far to much, some of these are actually legal.
Posted by Oldjim over 7 years ago
I don't use P2P but one thing I can do is record the music played on Spotify (record what you hear on my Audigy Card). Is this legal or not and more to the point I haven't found anything on Spotify which says I shouldn't. I suppose it is no different to recording a programme from the radio
Posted by tcrooks3843 over 7 years ago
If I go into a secondhand bookshop and buy a used copy of a book that is still in print is that legal? Books have been 'borrowed', exchanged, passed on, recycled, etc. since forever. Authors did have a beef with public library royalty rates many years ago but most authors are only too glad that their intellectual work is being widely read. Entertainment royalty rates should make due allowance for some level of 'exchange'.

Musicians and actors can perform live - something authors are unable to do so I don't have much sympathy for those in entertainment.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"TV Licience pays for BBC programmes. <etc>

Therefore, all you are doing is getting the programme before/after it has been shown."

It doesn't work like that, legally speaking.

"Content providers" ("rights owners") sign deals with broadcasters about how a broadcaster may use "content" which they pay for. Broadcasters do not *own* that content, they simply have a licence to use it in the agreed manner.

E.g. iPlayer rules (30 day lifetime etc) are (usually) down to "content providers", who would want extra money for unlimited-lifetime downloads.

You might not like it, but that's the law.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"we are not buying music films etc. but the media on which they are sold!"

You're not serious are you? The manufacturing cost of a DVD/CD is minimal (they get given away with papers and magazines). The reason CDs and DVDs cost so much is that *people still buy them even at those prices*.

What to do about that, and in particular about the size of the cut that goes to the "rights owners" rather than the artists, is a different question.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@Bryan-Tansley no one is attacking LEGAL file sharing.. hence word 'illegal' in title..
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 7 years ago
"@Bryan-Tansley no one is attacking LEGAL file sharing.. hence word 'illegal' in title.."

No beef over the title, just the way that the Govt is trying to treat all P2P and file sharing sites as being illegal and not requiring the proof that the content of the file(s) downloaded are illegal in itself.
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
I do a small hobby and need to acquire products from the States. These product are priced at $5.49 however by the time they come to be sold here in the UK that are now £15. The UK importer is moaning that his balance sheet is now bad as more people now acquire direct from the States and import themselves with the final cost being £8 after paying duties.So the UK importer is charging £7 for profit which is clearly a ripoff and his balance sheet will not improve until he reduces his profit to entice people away from importing themseleves. They much like the DVD/Music business should be doing.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
for the purpose of the poll, I voted I have and the reason was I couldnt buy it easily (copyrighted music that no longer for sale).
So many views but in short mine is the business models are not adapting to a global modern environment refusing to modernise and keep regional markets instead of global.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
@pigmaster - depends on what your business model is.. if you take risk in terms of stock, etc.. than markup needs to be higher.. they have to reprocess/repackage, etc.. but equally you may have a point :)
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
"If you go and steal something from a shop, you are charged and have an opportunity to go to court to defend yourself. " - actually you will find yourself banned nationally from the store or stores involved, you also run the risk of being barred from a shopping centre, which is perhaps not dissimilar to being disconnected from the internet.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
The problem is the industry needs to go, they aren't needed any more, at least not to the extent they would like.

Also there is competition to music sales, games sales etc.

This is all about CONTROL.
Posted by muymalestado over 7 years ago
Let music/media industry correct this leaking hole.

Let them pay ISPs to close down infringing file transfers.

ISPs can scan traffic for scum/scam prior to passing data on to us users. There are not millions of short file imprints which would identify a 'protected' file. Let the industry build filters, offer them to ISPs along with a payment, and let a filter at the ISP stop illegal download traffic. ISPs may need to amend contracts to do this, but maybe the media industry would stop moaning when they are told flatly they should be creating, and paying for, their own solution.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Great, and how are you going to compensate users for the 100-200ms hit in performance, muymalestado?
Posted by rjmain over 7 years ago
Ok, I d/l music and films P2P. It's wrong I know but, (and theres always a but) it's also illegal to buy secondhand books. It clearly states in the book 'not to be sold, lent' or whatever. Same with cd's and dvd's so, we are all criminals! End of. Take 'Help The Aged' to court ther'll be a uproar! The music and film business are in the poop because of the massive salaries they pay the 'artistes' and now they're looking to legislation to stop P2P. Won't work I reckon.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
rjmain - Exhaustion of Rights. Resale is perfectly legal.

"Copyright law does not restrict the owner of a copy from reselling legitimately obtained copies of copyrighted works, provided that those copies were originally produced by or with the permission of the copyright holder."

Unauthorised copying remains a civil offence.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
EULA's can, and do.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
(prevent resale)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
So, whatever2, they can't. European law is quite clear on this. To get the EULA's changed, someone (a private person, not a business, I'd note - the law is different for businesses) needs to take it to court.

Sure, that will be expensive but relying on nobody doing it as a business model is...playing russian roulette with your business.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Copyright law is a license based system. If I license one of my works to you not for resale, you resell it, i sue and win... it's that simple.
Posted by comnut over 7 years ago
"actually you will find yourself banned nationally from the store or stores involved"

No, this is another 'almost unenforceable' thing... it depends on the staff knowing the banned person, being too busy and or too low paid to bother... it may work in a store with only 3 or 4 staff, but not in one that has 200 staff spread across 7 floors...
Even banning their credit card is not so easy, the cashier had no idea why my card did not work, I panicked until I found I just did not have enough money there!!
Posted by comnut over 7 years ago
c_j_ : do you not wonder why many old programs are not shown any more on tv???

a License is not JUST for the program - there are hundreds of 'bits' in that program that must be license paid... a clip for a movie or series( contract says 'pay for every play' ), every piece of music, every 'appearance' of an artist, usage of anything made by them, even if it is just a documentary...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
whatever2 - Only if it was a business transaction. You /cannot/ alienate the right to resale, and many other rights, as a private person. Those contract clauses are automatically unfair - see the:

"Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
Regulations 1999"

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft311.pdf
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
To be specific;

Group 18(d): Excluding the consumer's right to assign
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
"Terms which seek to restrict this right are
considered to be open to scrutiny as regards fairness."

Doesn't mean they are illegal, just that that need to be fair. If I don't assign you a right to resell what I license to you then that's it as long as it's done in a fair manner.

All consumer involving money transactions are business transactions.

I/we sell licenses every week that prevent resale. These are completely legally binding and have been enforced.
Posted by amforbes over 7 years ago
They aren't interested in protecting their clients copy-write, all they are interested in is how much money the can make out of pirates.

http://torrentfreak.com/when-pirates-become-copyright-cash-cows-090830/
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
"All consumer involving money transactions are business transactions."

Not under UK law. Your basic ignorance of UK law makes you a clear hazard to your employer, and I'd advise them to sack you on the spot for gross incompetence at this point. (Yes, it annoys me THAT MUCH)

If I find what you're making I'll make a point of handling some second-hand trade in it, too.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
You mean English Law.

You can try if you like. Being a partner in the business for the past 20 years i'm well aware of how many people we've successfully persued under our license terms, and what English law is, our legal advice tends to cover what I/we don't.

You can put some money in court, like the rest that thought they knew what they were doing and could lecture on the law. We'll grab that as well. The really nice one is when we get to slap copyright infringement on it because people think they know all about that as well.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
That you don't know the basic difference in UK conract law between an agreement between businesses (which /is/ buyer beware) and that between a business and a private person (which has numerous unalienable rights)...

Well, you're lying or a fool. Period.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Doesn't matter if you're an end user as a sole trader business or private individual, you are bound by a license if the terms are fair.

Try it. Try breaking copyright terms or a usage license as a private individual and see if you can get out of it.

Fair is the key word that you missing (amongst other things). The other key word is sale. You don't own most copyrighted works, you have the right to use them under the terms granted.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
ou must describe a rental or a limited grant of rights as such at the point of sale, or the limitation is /automatically unfair/

But I am, so it's not. I don't care how limited it is or isn't. It applies, it's been applied. End of.

And I'm not talking about software EULAs, i'm talking about English Law.

And the exhaustion can be covered by limited licensing methods.

I can sell you the license. Your missing the fundamental point to which that is what you are buying, not the product.

Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"Try breaking copyright terms or a usage license as a private individual and see if you can get out of it. "

Can you name a precedent-setting case where a private individual has been held responsible in court?

It's not the kind of case that's likely to come to court and set a precedent because there's too much risk for the big boys; they might just be told that their shrink-wrap software EULAs really are just for decoration and then where would they be?

In the US, Autodesk recently lost such a case: http://www.citizen.org/documents/vernororder.pdf
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
whatever2 - Then the product must make it clear that it is "Liscenced, not Sold". Also, in many cases you are then selling a service and not a good, and must comply with the regulations on selling services.

Your dismissal of the doctrine of exhaustion is also not consistant with UK law.

You're a menance to the company you work for. This isn't a slam, it's the plain truth, and I hope you never bring a crippling lawsuit on your company because you're too stuborn to accnowledge your consumer's rights.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
There are simply ways around it when you recognise what rights exhaust when, what they allow you to do, and what rights will still be in existance

I'm glad now that you finally have worked out that something just needs to be made clear, that it still can be a product and it can be sold to a private individual.

All all of my experience comes from successful examples, processed by legal representation. I'll forward your comments to them for a laugh.

CJ, yep. There have been quite a few settlements for EULA's being broken, albeit out of court. (there's a good reason for that though)
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"There have been quite a few settlements for EULA's being broken, albeit out of court. (there's a good reason for that though)"

So you can't actually name a precedent-setting case, and all your legal representation has managed to do so far is "put the frighteners on" sufficiently to force (possibly) innocent people to pay up without having the case go to court.

I'm glad you've made that clear.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Sure, Whatever2, the "ways round" are called "illegally limiting the rights of private consumers". That's all there is to it. You are breaking the law, and at this point I /hope/ thst your business gets hammered for it.

More, you do not have permission to "foward" anything written here.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
No CJ, your being presumptuous. Our settlements have been for breaking license terms or infringements, not EULAs for software. But look up FAST's history for their success rate.

The ways around it are perfectly legal, they are encompassed on most mass media rights... look into them.

There are perfectly fair, legal and binding ways of restricting rights on sales of goods to private buyers. Just because you don't know about them doesn't mean they don't exist. You can be wrong. You prove this 100% with your last statement.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"look up FAST's history for their success rate."

If you want folk to believe your line, you need to provide the support material. Specific URLs would help - I can find the FAST website, then what?

"Just because you don't know about them doesn't mean they don't exist"

Indeed so. So why not educate us all by providing something more convincing than you have done so far.

Final time of asking: a reference to an actual court case (FAST or otherwise), for example, rather than your handwaving statement that you (and or FAST) have won lots of actual court cases.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
FAST is a lobbying and pressure group. Find me the material supporting you on, say, Watchdog's site rather than one tailored to your view of reality.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Watchdog?! lmao. BSA would be better, but not relevant to the licenses we agree.

All our enforcements have been settled out of court, bar one which the client put money into court, then settled.

I don't need to justify anything... you're misinformed or uneducated on the point. You are bound by a license, as you are bound by rights, and just because you purchase an object privately does not mean you have all rights. Perhaps look up rights and see what your purchasing in the future.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Watchdog, which is a customer-focused organisation - did you think that was a coincidence? No, because no customer association would agree with your madlib on consumer rights.

"we agree"

In your mind. Becuase that's the only place that your sweeping grab of users rights has taken place. You want to sell your cake and eat it yourself. This sort of greedy behavior damages the software industry by pushing up piracy rates when companies are seen as unreasonable and inflexible.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"enforcements ... out of court"
"you're misinformed or uneducated"

Still no reference to *any* relevant precedent-setting court case, not yours, not anybody else's.

Draw you own conclusions, readers.


"just because you purchase an object privately does not mean you have all rights."

Obviously. So what? I buy an AutoCAD CD, I can't copy+resell it. I *can* resell the software and licence, under US law, even though Autodesk would like to prevent it.


"I don't need to justify anything"

You'd be more convincing if you did.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
seems I mised this article.
"Piracy is driven by high prices, and lack of availability. The music/film industry know what they have to do, but would rather persue the legal side of piracy than cut profit margins."
Couldnt have said it better myself. (a) Drop prices, (b) get rid of regional marketing meaning global release dates and prices, (c) make old material available, (d) remove protections that inconveniance paying customers, (e) establish a proper online selling model.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
added comment to TBB, this is the 2nd article I have read now that reffers to downloading media as stealing, it is not theft and is not comparable to shoplifting.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
classic example of what I mean is the xbox360 netfix service, apparently is quite successful but for silly copyright and licensing reasons it is only available to north america. Things like this motivate people to pirate content.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"(a) Drop prices, (b) get rid of regional marketing meaning global release dates and prices, (c) make old material available, (d) remove protections that inconveniance paying customers, (e) establish a proper online selling model."

Nail on head.

Some Oasis-copyist outfit called the Beatles are getting some publicity at the moment. Apparently they made a movie once called Magical Mystery Tour. I can't buy it (new) on UK DVD or download it legitimately. I can buy a US DVD, but my player is one of the few non-multi-region ones. Or I can go to the torrents.

It's not rocket science is it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
It's not piracy either, it's unauthorised copying.

chrysalis - You missed having deacent portals to display content, previews and so on...
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
I think they get off on the fact on having control, ahh we got some cool music dvd, lets make it only available to this part of the world and the rest of the plebs can cry at the usa super status. *2 months later* cry cry please prime minister these nasty plebs are downloading this material we only want americans to watch please make them pay lots of money to use for a product we never wanted to sell to them.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
just had an interesting read, the movie district 9 which cost 30million usd to make and has 100million usd from .us screens, already 70million in profit, the download of the movie is highest in germany surprise surprise because the brilliant regional marketing strategy made it not available to watch in germany legally yet.
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